Letter: Family’s tragic loss inspired volunteers

Published 1:04 am Thursday, November 22, 2018

A number of weeks ago, the obituary appeared of a lady that, unless you were family or friends, probably went unnoticed by most people. She was, to the best of my knowledge, the last surviving member of the original family of Mr. and Mrs. James Livengood, formerly of Peach Orchard Road.

In the pre-dawn hours of Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23, 1950, an oil heater exploded in the Livengood home, crowded with family and friends. All got out except 3-year-old Terry and 6-year-old Judy, who died in the fire. The nearest fire department was in Salisbury, no volunteer departments back then. Twelve-year-old Sonny was badly burned but survived and later would dedicate his life to service as a fireman with the city of Salisbury.

The St. Paul’s community was so devastated by this that people in the community got together, and the result was the creation of the South Salisbury Volunteer Fire Department, and soon after other VFDs in the county. Who knows how many lives have been saved by these groups.

Just thought that as we give thanks this week for all our blessings, that we give thanks to these fine volunteers, along with our law enforcement people, who put their lives on the line each day for us. So be sure to thank any that you see at this special time.

Just thought you would like to know this story.

— Jesse Watson